New Delhi, Nov 10: Indian cricket team's mantra for success has always been spin and that's evident especially in the Test matches played at the sub continent. The ongoing series against West Indies has also proved that trusting spinners is not a bad move as youngsters shared 16 wickets in the first test against West Indies that concluded on Wednesday. After Kumble, Harbhajan, its seems to be the era of the young brigade.
The spin department earlier consisted of big names such as Vinoo Mankad, Ghulam Ahmed, Subash Gupte, Erapalli Prasanna, Chandrashekar, Venkataraghavan, Dilip Doshi, Bishen Singh Bedi, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. All the spinners were quite different from the other. All these bowlers can be termed as the best spinners India has ever produced.
As we all know these stalwarts have been idealistic and inspirational to the younger generation. Spinners have played a huge role in winning matches ever since Vinoo Mankad's time.
As expected, all the spinners who played a vital role were missed badly in their absence. Similarly, there was an era, when Indian cricket team depended a lot on Anil Kumble. His inclusion was indeed a huge plus for Indian cricket since the tall leg spinner used to bowl googlies and had a lot of variation in flight which made life miserable for the batsman.
Kumble's stint with the team was impeccable. This tall leg spinner, has numerous records to his credit and holds the record for winning most matches for India than any other bowler. With such finesse, Anil Kumble joined the elite club of top leg spinners of the world.
His retirement, created a huge vaccum in the spin department which was later filled by another off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who captured the vision of many with his tremendous variation in length and pace, deceiving the batsman with his doosras held on to his berth tight in the team.
Since his debut in 1998, Harbhajan has been the best off-spinner India has ever produced helping the team win most matches and became India's lead spinner in all formats of the game after Kumble's retirement ensured how much the Indian team depended on Harbhajan Singh.
The turbanator, has not been in great form off late and due to inconsistency, was not picked for England's tour of India and the ongoing West Indies tour. opening the gateways for talented youngsters Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin to don the tri colors. These two rookies have carried the rich tradition becoming India's great future prospect.
Pragyan Ojha with a strong come back, has impressed the selectors, who might opt for Pragyan Ojha ahead of Harbhajan. Whereas, Ravichandran Ashwin, who made his Test debut against West Indies grabbed the opportunity from both hands as he picked up 9 wickets in the first Test which included his maiden five wicket haul.
This has probably made the selectors to think twice on Harbhajan's inclusion to the squad. With two short of hundred test caps and over 400 wickets to his credit, Bhajji's cricketing future seems to be bleak as the door seems to be closed for the 31 year old as the young spinners have grabbed the opportunities with both hands.
Though its quite early to conclude saying that these two spinners going to represent the country in all the three formats of the game hereafter. It seems to be a transition phase, wherein the selectors are looking at the future and want to build a young and strong team well ahead of time.